Md. schools still hostile to LGBT students

By : Steve Charing of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
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GLSEN last month released state-level data from its benchmark “National School Climate Survey,” which shows that U.S. secondary schools are slowly improving but remain hostile environments for many LGBTQ students.

In Maryland, the report found:

The vast majority of LGBTQ students in Maryland regularly heard anti-LGBT remarks. Many also regularly heard school staff make homophobic remarks (13 percent) and negative remarks about someone’s gender expression (28 percent).

Most LGBTQ students in Maryland had been victimized at school. Of those, more than half never reported the incident to school staff (65 percent). Only 29 percent of those students who reported incidents said it resulted in effective staff intervention.

Many LGBTQ students in Maryland reported discriminatory policies or practices at their school. Nearly half (47 percent) experienced at least one form of discrimination at school during the past year. In Maryland, three in five transgender students (61 percent) were unable to use the school restroom that aligned with their gender identity.

Many LGBTQ students in Maryland did not have access to in-school resources and supports. Only 11 percent attended a school with a comprehensive anti-bullying/harassment policy; just a quarter (26 percent) had access to an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum. However, three-quarters could identify six or more supportive school staff (76 percent) and had access to a GSA or similar student club (76 percent).

“The results of this survey mirror the stories we hear from LGBTQ middle and high school students in Maryland,” said Jabari Lyles, chapter director of GLSEN Baltimore, in a statement. “Schools are still hostile environments for so many of these students, and now more than ever they need our support.”

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